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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Microsoft Officially Previews The Windows 8 Interface

Following Windows 7, the next versions of Microsoft Windows are supposed to start coming faster and more frequent. To get that started, Microsoft officially previewed code-named Windows 8 at the D9 Conference today. For those of us not at the conference, Julie Larson-Green kindly summarized the presentation in this announcement. You can read the full details in the announcement, but here’s the run-down.
Windows 8 is a reimagining of Windows, from the chip to the interface. A Windows 8-based PC is really a new kind of device, one that scales from touch-only small screens through to large screens, with or without a keyboard and mouse.
Here are a few aspects of the new interface we showed today:
  • Fast launching of apps from a tile-based Start screen, which replaces the Windows Start menu with a customizable, scalable full-screen view of apps.
  • Live tiles with notifications, showing always up-to-date information from your apps.
  • Fluid, natural switching between running apps.
  • Convenient ability to snap and resize an app to the side of the screen, so you can really multitask using the capabilities of Windows.
  • Web-connected and Web-powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript that have access to the full power of the PC.
  • Fully touch-optimized browsing, with all the power of hardware-accelerated Internet Explorer 10.
Windows 8 apps use the power of HTML5, tapping into the native capabilities of Windows using standard JavaScript and HTML to deliver new kinds of experiences. These new Windows 8 apps are full-screen and touch-optimized, and they easily integrate with the capabilities of the new Windows user interface.
Since a lot of text isn’t a great substitute for a preview of an interface, here’s a YouTube video that walks through some of the features revealed today.

Much more is promised to be revealed at the BUILD event in September.

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